The Washington Post is a bum

Dateline: Thu 02 Jul 2009

So much for the assertion that the Washington Post would rise above the multitude of problems plaguing the newspaper industry. What I had read is that it was "safe" financially because it's company owns so many other sources of revenue, that it was properly diversified, that the Post would not get in the red.

This story from politico.com today, sent by blogger Gary Welsh and IT guru Tom Henderson, contradicts that scenario.

Here is the latest, from reporter Mike Allen, about the Post selling access for $25,000 -- to lobbyists, yet:

"For $25,000 to $250,000, The Washington Post is offering lobbyists and association executives off-the-record, nonconfrontational access to "those powerful few" — Obama administration officials, members of Congress, and the paper’s own reporters and editors.

The astonishing offer is detailed in a flier circulated Wednesday to a health care lobbyist, who provided it to a reporter because the lobbyist said he feels it’s a conflict for the paper to charge for access to, as the flier says, its “health care reporting and editorial staff."

The offer — which essentially turns a news organization into a facilitator for private lobbyist-official encounters — is a new sign of the lengths to which news organizations will go to find revenue at a time when most newspapers are struggling for survival.

And it's a turn of the times that a lobbyist is scolding The Washington Post for its ethical practices.

"Underwriting Opportunity: An evening with the right people can alter the debate," says the one-page flier. "Underwrite and participate in this intimate and exclusive Washington Post Salon, an off-the-record dinner and discussion at the home of CEO and Publisher Katharine Weymouth. ... Bring your organization’s CEO or executive director literally to the table. Interact with key Obama administration and congressional leaders …

“Spirited? Yes. Confrontational? No. The relaxed setting in the home of Katharine Weymouth assures it. What is guaranteed is a collegial evening, with Obama administration officials, Congress members, business leaders, advocacy leaders and other select minds typically on the guest list of 20 or less. …

“Offered at $25,000 per sponsor, per Salon. Maximum of two sponsors per Salon. Underwriters’ CEO or Executive Director participates in the discussion. Underwriters appreciatively acknowledged in printed invitations and at the dinner. Annual series sponsorship of 11 Salons offered at $250,000 … Hosts and Discussion Leaders ... Health-care reporting and editorial staff members of The Washington Post ... An exclusive opportunity to participate in the health-care reform debate among the select few who will actually get it done. ... A Washington Post Salon ... July 21, 2009 6:30 p.m."

POLITICO has asked The Washington Post for a response, and will post it when it arrives.

Sources at the paper say the marketing offer may be getting ahead of what the newsroom is prepared to deliver. The newspaper recently hired someone to organize conferences, and his primary mission is to stage on-the-record events about topical subjects in Washington. Conferences are a trend throughout the news industry. "

Comments

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Bum is one word.

But the word you're really looking for is "whore."

WHAT A DISGUSTING PREDICAMENT. A once-proud newspaper should hang its head. This is awful.

2009-07-02 13:32:14

news junkie [Member] said:

Politico reported later today that the flier was sent out w/o approval of the powers that be at WaPo...although it was unclear if some business guy did know about it.

Apparently there have been talks of some kind of dinners at the publishers house, according to one reporter who was invited, yet uncertain about the details.

But the editor said that the news staff would never be allowed to participate in an event 'salon' as described in the flier.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0709/24441.html

2009-07-02 17:55:08

news junkie [Member] said:

Politico reported later today that the flier was sent out w/o approval of the powers that be at WaPo...although it was unclear if some business guy did know about it.

Apparently there have been talks of some kind of dinners at the publisher's house, according to one reporter who was invited, yet uncertain about the details.

But the editor said that the news staff would never be allowed to participate in an event 'salon' as described in the flier.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0709/24441.html

2009-07-02 17:56:15

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